When the cold winter wind starts whirling over the plains, Oklahomans know soup is the best prescription to warm you up. There are soups to help you cure a cold and soups to drink from a mug and keep your hands warm the whole time. There are even soups such as Dolly Parton's Cabbage soup to help slim you down. Maybe that's why January is National Soup Month.
Soups have long held a reputation for helping cure our ills and satisfy our cravings.
As a cook, I love to make a pot of soup. Sometimes it's a gathering of things including vegetables that are not going to stay at their refrigerated best, so I use them up. Other times, it is something my husband and I are craving.
Most soups are quite simple to make from just a few ingredients you probably have on hand. Chicken stock or broth and onions are probably the most basic things to keep around. Both provide foundations of flavor for building great soups. Vegetable stock is another, whether you have it in cube form or make it ahead for incorporating into a soup.
If kitchen storage space is an issue, you may want to opt for bouillon cubes.
They dissolve quickly in simmering water, but most are a little high in sodium content.
Be sure to avoid any stock or soup bases that contain MSG.
Another product I like to have on hand is V8 juice. It is a great addition to a number of soups if you need more liquid.
Canned tomatoes, whether petite diced, diced, stewed or whole, are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and lycopene.
Carrots, celery and peppers are great soup ingredients to have in the fridge.
Dried and canned beans are another soup maker to have on hand.
The canned ones are handy if you have very little time to cook, but with a little planning the dried ones can be put to great use in soups. It is really basic and quite easy.
Frozen vegetables added to soups or stews are the next best thing to having fresh prepared vegetables on hand.
I'm sharing a recipe that can be made in minutes with a few common ingredients.
Tuscans are known as “bean-eaters,” and after you try this fast, delicious soup, you will be, too.
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